Secret triumph

Humbert and Lolita are in Wace, en route to Elphinstone. Elphinestone, the 'secret terminus' where we anticipate Humbert's arrest. In the last few pages Humbert has hurt Lolita's wrist and hit her accross the face. She refers to him ironically as 'deah fahther' and 'mister', with a menacing cheerfulness. While this might not be unusual conflict, the character is new, and is unnerving Humbert. We have known since the second sentence of the preface that Humbert is arrested and put on trial, but there is still tension. But our empathy is with Lolita who we realise is now a full captive and not just the hood-winked girl she once was. She knows (Humbert 'might as well be used to convey her to Elphonstone') she is on the cusp of a freedom she has engineered for her self. His panic and her adult emergence are an exciting juxtaposition.